With the fear of spreading Coronavirus keeping tourists and constituents away from the state Capitol, legislators are encountering an unexpected problem: a surplus of Wisconsin Blue Books and state maps.
“I don’t know what to do,” said state Sen. Bibby Lofille (R-WI34) in an interview April 1. “My office is overflowing with books and maps. We have no visitors, so we have nobody to push them onto.”
Every two years legislators are given an allocation of Blue Books and state maps to distribute to constituents. However, demand for both have diminished since the information can be found online.
Getting rid of excess Blue Books can be a challenge for legislative staff even in a busy year of school tours and constituents visiting while the legislature is in session. But with the short legislative calendar and Coronavirus social distancing, the books are piling up.
Boxes of Blue Books can be seen stacked up in empty hearing rooms, vacant while the Legislature is not in session this year. However, the problem is not quite as dire with the maps.
“When there was a shortage of toilet paper in the stores, suddenly we had a lot of requests for the state maps,” Lofille said.